What's it Like to Work at Nokia?

nokiaIt's safe to say that Nokia has the whole world talking-literally.

The Finnish company makes mobile devices that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games...oh, and make phone calls, too. It has a nearly 39 percent share of the global mobile device market with 1.1 billion customers in more than 150 countries.

As an employer, the company embraces its own technology to give its workers mobility and flexibility; just one of the things that keep employees loyal.

Brooke Eplee, a global manager with Nokia's music group in New York, came to the company after finishing her MBA at the Wharton School of Business. I talked with her and Emily Christakis, university relations manager for North America, about opportunities and day-to-day life at the company.

nokiaWhat's it like to work at Nokia?

Eplee: Nokia is a very mobile company. My colleagues and I are spread out and travel frequently. Consequently, Nokia has developed a culture that allows much flexibility when appropriate. My work is all on my laptop and Nokia handset; as long as I have an Internet connection and a quiet place to take calls or conduct meetings, I can generally do my work.

My family lives a fair distance away, so it was often difficult to get back and see them at previous jobs I've held. At Nokia, because I can work remotely I have been able to fly home around the holidays and work from there during the day, spending time with my family in the evening. As a result, I've been able to stay for a day or two longer than in previous jobs, which means a great deal to me. This kind of flexibility also means that my work/life balance is extremely satisfying. I am able to fit in a run in Central Park in the morning and then take calls from home on days when I work remotely.

I also love the global nature of the job. I work with people from all over the world and have the opportunity to travel frequently. Nokia truly supports initiative-taking and an independent working style, which really motivates me to think creatively about new approaches to our work.

What do you like best about Nokia?

Eplee: I work with intelligent, truly nice people with whom I enjoy spending my time, pretty much across the board. For an organization as large as Nokia, I find it amazing that I've encountered this from office to office, across functions and regions; it's really wonderful. Nokia employees' approachability extends to my relationship with my boss; I feel really listened to and supported. I am finishing up an additional Master's degree and need to take Japanese lessons during the day twice a week. My boss has been very accommodating and supportive. The company places a good deal of emphasis on professional development and I've been able to guide my role in a direction that I am excited about. Nokia gives me room and incentive to grow personally and professionally. As a result, I find that I genuinely care about the success of the company.

Can you tell me how you got your job at Nokia?

Eplee: I ran across a summer internship with Nokia's Music Group that was designed for a first year MBA going into her second year. I decided to apply anyway, as the role seemed like a perfect fit. I interviewed with the head of growth and integration (now her boss) over the phone and then in person. I was also interviewed by Nokia HR prior to receiving the offer. During the summer I met with key people within the music group to discuss the possibility of a full-time position. Of course, an internship is essentially a long evaluation process. Luckily the positive feeling was mutual and an opportunity to join full-time presented itself in September.

nokiaWhat about perks?

Christakis: The company is all about connecting people, through very human technology, to what matters and giving them the power to make the most of every moment, everywhere, anytime.

Here, according to Christakis, are some of the company's best benefits:

  • Open communications. Employees have the opportunity to give feedback on what's working and what's not via video blogs and news forums that are broadcast to offices around the globe.
  • High-tech gadgets: An Ambassadors program provides employees with the latest Nokia gadgets if they agree to use, offer feedback and spread the word about them.
  • Health and wellness programs. In addition to generous health insurance, there is an incentive-based program that includes online health assessments, access to a team of health professionals and on-site screenings. Many Nokia sites offer fitness centers and massage therapists (the company is Finnish, after all).
  • Concert tickets. Employees can request tickets to attend concerts at Nokia theaters in New York City, Dallas and Los Angeles subject to availability.
  • Recognition programs. The Recognizing U program, a vehicle for manager-worker and peer-to-peer recognition for going above and beyond their daily job responsibilities and showing team spirt, also gives new employees a $100 gift certificate to redeem for Nokia products or spend at select retailers and restaurants.

What type of people does Nokia look for to fill their open jobs and is Nokia hiring?

Christakis: Successful candidates demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness and learning agility. Because we operate in over 150 countries, diversity in background and experiences is critical to the success of our business. Moreover, the ability to establish sustainable working relationships with colleagues in an increasingly virtual environment is integral as well. (Nokia is hiring across business units; find out more and apply online at the Nokia jobs page on the company website).

What is the best way to get noticed by a hiring manager at Nokia? The worst way?

Christakis: The best candidates demonstrate that they are strategic, big-picture thinkers who can drive execution and are outcome-oriented. The worst way? Sending out generic emails with résumés to a hiring manager without tailoring the message or worse, cold calling.

How can people learn more about Nokia?

Not surprising, the company has a presence on LinkedIn and Facebook as well as other social networking sites. Follow the links below.

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